When I think of my Nannie – I think of green houses and the smell of tomato plants and wood – heated in the English sun. I think of checkered table cloths and mint sauce. I think of salad cream and endless hours on her bed listening to the stories behind every piece of her jewelry in her jewelry box.
She sent this to me a couple of years ago – can you believe it’s 79 years old? She got it on her 13th birthday … I’ll share with you the note and the necklace:
The reason I started thinking about my Nannie – (other than she often finds my mind) is that I was looking for soap.
I wanted to wash my hair – do old fashioned ringlets for tomorrow and put my Christmas Eve PJ’s on.
I’m running low on shampoo and conditioner – but even lower on soap. WHERE do the re-gift/half ass body wash gifts go when you need them? I searched under my sink and gave up. Nothing. I must have tossed or re-gifted.
I did find ‘our’ soap.
I mispronounced it one year as ‘Mongolia’ and it’s been a running joke ever since.
This is how my Nannie smells. Cross between Magnolias and Imperial Soap.
Anyway – she sent me a lot of it.
I was never going to use it. I’m VERY sentimental – and smell is my biggest memory jogger. I would sniff it from time to time – but tonight – I needed soap, so I used one.
I thought I’d treat myself to a little spa after my shower – I used a sample of something I definitely couldn’t afford otherwise.
My boss orders expensive grooming items from a shop she receives samples from in return for, which I’m sure, is an insane amount of money that she spends. (To her credit, she’s rocking her 60’s and has better skin than me!)
Anyway, I dipped into this:
And chose this:
And looked like this:
I washed it off and removed the towel, and don’t I look 1 year younger? LOL!
ok, so I hadn’t even brushed my hair yet. But I bare all for you.
When I had the face mask on at first, it was SUPER dark – which brought me back to my Nannie. I was thinking of black face.
The last gift she sent me was this:
Which, I’m sure, is really going to offend some people.
In my day (now I sound REALLY old) I had a ‘Golliwog’ and LOVED it. It was treated no different than any of my other toys. I treasured it.
Golliwogs appeared in my books that I poured over – so much so, that one of them – (I can’t find it! I looked – know it’s here somewhere) had a story in it that I had etched into my skin:
It was about a kind fairy, with a crippled wing. Because she was so kind to all creatures, she was given the gift of a new wing. (The heart? My first tattoo – in the very early 90’s since I was told I was heartless – I could point to my ankle and say ‘nope!’)
I had the tattoo artist work from the original art.
Fairy Stargold I believe?
The point is – I didn’t know black from white. I didn’t know Golliwogs were offensive. They were black dolls to me – and adored.
Yet now I keep my black doll behind my bathroom door on top of my filing cabinet so as not to offend anyone.
So it’s Christmas Eve and I’m inundated with warm memories of everything that was precious and feeling wrong for holding some of them precious.
I’m not even going to google ‘Golliwog’ because it will taint the innocent memories I have. I was a kid – and color was not a factor.
Nic asked me to wake him up this morning, so before I left for work I did just that and was rewarded with a tired hug.
For a moment – a fleeting moment – as I looked at his sleepy face and disheveled hair, I saw my boy.
It’s so odd.
Gone are the Christmas Eves peppered with ‘Can I open just one??’
Gone are the cookies and milk for Santa.
No more waiting for him to be asleep before tip toeing to his stocking.
No more biting carrots for reindeer and leaving remnants on the porch.
No more sprinkling glitter by a fireplace – leaving footprints in the carpet.
I miss that.
I miss wrapping Lego and Pokemon.
I miss small pajamas.
I miss the smell of his freshly washed hair – of “1,2, threeeee!” As I picked him up, wrapped in an impossibly big towel, out of the tub.
I miss story time and his heavy lids – minty yawns and ‘See you in the morning!’
Today I miss my boy.
But am oh so grateful for the young man who is my son this Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve is my favorite day. The day before. The day when my son can barely stand the anticipation anymore. I can barely stand it either to be fair – I choose his gifts with a lot of thought and can’t wait to see him open them.
But I can wait. That day before – is when all the magic is still hanging in the air. The ‘unknown’ is still unknown. The wrapping is still holding in its secrets.
I absolutely adore having something to be excited about.
The meaning of Christmas aside – after the gifts have been opened and the boxes revealed – feels (to me anyway) like it’s all over.
I love the build up. The spirit of the approaching holiday.
Today was special too. No matter what the gifts under the tree that my son went out to buy are (one is labeled ‘to the lady who lives with me’, the other, ‘A.K.A. my mom’) I feel like I already had my big gift today.
It was a busy day – after my Sunday morning job, we came home and collected laundry to do at my moms, then took Nic’s friend home. Lots of driving – lots of ‘busy’.
Came home and lay on the couch enjoying a burger we salvated over every time we saw it on a mouth-watering commercial.
Ice Age 2 was on … it was just Nic and I.
After he ate, he indicated he wanted a spot next to me on the couch.
We curled up together and watched the animated flick. Wasn’t long before he was asleep – my arms around him.
You know that sound pets make when they’re falling asleep and totally comfortable? That content exhale?
He made that little noise. A sigh. And my heart filled.
I daren’t move – even when my arm fell asleep.
For that moment – I had my ‘little boy’ back. If only for a snippet of time.
That is all I needed for Christmas.
Because really it’s about telling people we love them, spending time with family and a rare Season when strangers are nicer to each other.
I had my moment. And tomorrow – I’ll be baking and looking forward to Santa filling Nic’s stocking and arranging the base of the tree. 😉
So very blessed. So very grateful. And as my son continues to sleep on the couch, I glance over at my boy who is becoming a man and so thankful for that contented sigh while he was in my arms.